One of the hallmarks of Windows 10 is its wide compatibility. It supported a ton of devices at launch, including many that were sold in the Windows XP era. But Microsoft says that Windows 11 won’t work on many existing PCs, as it requires relatively-new 8th gen Intel Core processors (or AMD equivalents). Now, it seems that this CPU requirement could change after Insider testing.
The Windows 11 hardware requirements are still in flux, likely due to the negative backlash that followed the release of Microsoft’s Windows 11 Compatibility Checker. A recent announcement from the company kind of clarifies the Windows 11 requirements, but also states that requirements are subject to change with testing.
I’ll list the “clarifications” below. Keep in mind that the current Windows 11 Insider build doesn’t enforce TPM or CPU requirements for those who are in the Dev program.
Here’s the gist:
- CPUs: Minimum Intel 8th gen, AMD Zen 2, or Qualcomm 7 and 8 Series. Microsoft may lower the bar and accept Intel 7th gen or AMD Zen 1 processors after Insider testing.
- Hardware: At minimum, Windows 11 needs a 1GH 2-core processor, 4GB memory, and 64GB of storage. These happen to be the minimum system specs for Office and Microsoft Teams, too.
- TPM: To meet Microsoft’s security principals, “all Windows 11 supported CPUs have an embedded TPM, support secure boot, and support VBS and specific VBS capabilities.” It still isn’t clear if Microsoft is still referring to TPM 2.0, as the company keeps flip-flopping between it and TPM 1.5.
Microsoft also says that it’s temporarily taking down the inaccurate Windows 11 Compatibility Checker. A new system requirements page is taking its place for the time being.
We assume that this requirements page will change over time. Confusingly, the page lists TPM 2.0 as a requirement for Windows 11, though Microsoft’s “clarifying” blog post doesn’t specify what sort of TPM module the company wants.
In the meantime, we’ll just have to hope that Microsoft’s testing goes well. Wide compatibility with older systems was one of Windows 10’s greatest strengths, and to see it disappear with Windows 11 is a bit of a bummer.